SEO: A Moving Target

Shepard Morrow - Location Traffic

As a  marketing consultant, I find that many people have the impression that SEO is something you can do once and then forget about.

This is dead wrong. Search engine optimization isn’t static; it’s a moving target. As a business owner, you need to be aware of the changes in the field and continually fine tune your strategy to ensure that you stay top-of-mind – and top-of-page.

Changing Algorithms
Search engines like Google periodically change the way that they provide search results. Their goal is to provide the most relevant results to their users, and the more data they collect over time, the better they are able to do that. Remember, the internet is still pretty new – it’s only been around for 25 years – so they’re still learning what we want by profiling search intent. It’s an ongoing process of studying psychodynamics to better understand how people use the technology and express that in patterns of search.

This is where an internet marketing consultant comes in. Their job is to stay on top of the trends and changes so that your website is always up-to-date. As the criteria that search engines look for changes, your website needs to change as well.

Changing Audience
Before the internet, marketing research was fairly static. A business would run a formal survey, define the customers and the competition in that one moment in time, and then use that data for the next 3 to 5 years.

Today, market research is dynamic. Things change more rapidly, and you can monitor what’s happening in real time, updating the data you use on a monthly basis. If you see a new trend in queries, you can adjust your strategy or content to attract those potential customers. From my experience, the search data is anywhere from 1 to 3 months ahead of what people actually buy. This means that you are able to stay ahead of the change rather than chasing behind it.

Changing Strategy
Even armed with all that data, online marketing consulting starts by making assumptions about what people want when they are searching for certain terms. It takes time to see the results of those assumptions. Were you rewarded by Google in the way you thought you would be? Sometimes you find that the search engine picked up on a term that you didn’t intend, or you ranked well for your desired keyword but the bounce rate is high, which means visitors didn’t find what they were looking for.

The more experience your internet marketing consultant has, the closer they will get to making it right the first time.  But even then, you can fine tune in order to improve your conversion rates. You don’t want people to just land on your website; you want them to take action, whether that means buying a product, contacting you, or signing up to get more information. By studying the analytics, you can make changes to improve your results.

A good internet marketing consultant can make sure that you stay at the forefront of everything and keep you aware of how search – and your own business – is evolving. The only way to maintain your business’s relevance is to know how that relevance is being determined.

Posted: 10/10/2012 5:23:20 PM by Shep Morrow